SPECIES OF ANTS IN QUEBEC
How to Recognize and Differentiate Them ?
Quebec is a province rich in biodiversity and is home to several species of ants. While most of them are harmless and play an important role in the ecosystem, some can be considered as pests to humans and the environment. In this article, we will review the main species of nuisance ants present in Quebec and see how to distinguish them from each other.
Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are one of the most harmful ant species in Quebec. They are called so because of their habit of excavating galleries in wood to establish their colony. This can cause significant damage to wooden structures, especially houses and buildings.
Characteristics of Carpenter Ants
These ants are usually black, with shades of red or brown, and measure between 6 and 12 mm in length. They are distinguished from other ants by their size and color. Carpenter ants are primarily active at night and are often attracted to moist or sweet food sources.
Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are another species of nuisance ants in Quebec. They are originally from Africa but have spread worldwide. These ants are often associated with infestations in buildings, particularly hospitals, restaurants, and homes.
Characteristics of Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are small and measure about 2 mm in length. They have a light yellow color and are often confused with sugar ants. The main difference is that pharaoh ants have a bigger head than sugar ants. These ants are attracted to sweet and protein foods and can spread harmful bacteria as they move from one food source to another.
Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) are also considered as pests in Quebec, although they do not usually cause as much damage as carpenter or pharaoh ants. They are called so because of their habit of building their nest under sidewalks, driveways, and patios.
Characteristics of Pavement Ants
Pavement ants measure between 2.5 and 3 mm in length and have a dark brown to black color. They are often confused with carpenter ants because of their similar color, but they are much smaller. Pavement ants are attracted to sweet and protein foods. They can become a problem when they invade patios, driveways, and building foundations, sometimes causing material damage by excavating underground galleries.
How to Prevent and Control Infestations of Nuisance Ants
To prevent infestations of nuisance ants, it is important to eliminate food and water sources both inside and outside your home. Here are some tips to avoid these unwanted ants from settling in your home:
– Keep food in airtight containers and regularly clean the areas where you cook and eat.
– Eliminate sources of stagnant water and repair water leaks.
– Keep shrubs and branches away from the exterior walls of your home to prevent ants from climbing and entering.
– Seal cracks and openings around doors, windows, and foundations to prevent ants from entering your home.
– Regularly inspect wooden areas of your home for the presence of carpenter ants and the damage they could cause.
If you notice an infestation of nuisance ants, it is recommended to call a professional exterminator to eliminate these insects and protect your home against future problems.